The Theatre

Move over Robert Pattinson, I have my own story that could rival yours about your own ‘striptease’.

A few weeks ago, a former friend and colleague named Jason caught up with me on Facebook. I knew Jason from my IBM days (2003-2007); I’m thankful that I worked up the nerve to join BlueQ, IBM’s version of Toronto’s ‘Out and Out’ club. From there I got to know Jason and a few of his friends, many of whom I have developed a friendship outside of IBM, connected with on Facebook, or see regularly when I frequent the village. On one special day two weeks ago, Jason and I chatted on Facebook. I knew he was involved with the theatre, as a performer mainly; today he owns his own theatre company and wanted to know if I was interested in being part of the promo ads for an upcoming play.

I remember saying ‘yes’ without asking any questions. Instantly, my mind raced to moments in time in the 90s when I was either on stage for a talent show (did you know I could perform Usher’s ‘You Make me Wanna’?), or in first year university drama with Greg Wanless performing as Puck in long johns. All I needed to know was the date-and-time and I would be there. Jason connected me with the photographer and I was among the folks who would star in the promo ads for this play for free.

I have to admit that I knew all along that the upcoming play would be a remake of ‘The Full Monty’, set to go live near the end of the year. That part was known. What I didn’t know was that the cop hat on the ledge, stage right, was the only costume. I showed up first, met the photographer and the art director – both nice guys, more entrenched in the ‘hubbub’ of theatre antics than I was. They shared tales from last week’s play, this week’s play, props that the casts loved, etc. Somewhere in between, I learned that there were two shots – one with the cop hat in the air – shot from the backside, and the last one with cop hats in front shot dead-on. Zoom into my reaction – surprise, shock and fear about a simple BPP (black people problem) – ashy skin. I had about 10 minutes to come to terms with the idea, and once I found some lotion in my gym bag to cure the BPP, I had to get over flashing my ‘boy bits’ infront of strangers and a photographer for what was a tasteful and professional photoshoot with a team of actors.

I took the shot. I had fun with it. I don’t remember if I lotioned my backside, but it didn’t matter. The other guys in the shoot were great sports about it as well. Following the shoot we joked about feeling ‘closer’ and needed to ‘hug it out’. All in all, it was great fun, over very quickly, and I’m glad I didn’t point out the exits.


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